India has been grappling with the phenomenon of brain drain—the large-scale flight of its skilled labor pool to countries with higher-paying jobs—since the 1970s.
A United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) report estimated that India was losing $2 billion a year, around the 1990s, because of the emigration of computer experts to the U.S.
But now, a reverse migration is underway. As economic opportunities dwindle in the U.S., jobs loom on the Indian horizon. While most of the economies face a downturn, India’s GDP still grew by seven percent last year.
Most of those headed homeward are people in their 30s, are married and who hold master’s degrees or PhDs. It’s not just IT professionals and engineers that are gripped by the so-called R-2-I (Return-to-India) syndrome. Those in academia too, are applying in large numbers to Indian universities, where the teaching sector is expanding.